MDUSD Board Member on Northgate Boundary Change: “I Got It Wrong”, Wants MDUSD to Rescind Vote

May 7, 2016 14:00 pm · 125 comments


The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) will discuss on Monday, and possibly rescind their vote to assign students from Diablo View Middle School (Clayton) and Pine Hollow Middle School (Concord) to Northgate High School (Walnut Creek).

At least one Mt. Diablo Unified School Board Member is saying he “got it wrong” when he voted to make Northgate High School in Walnut Creek the home school for children at Pine Hollow and Diablo View.

MDUSD Board Member Brian Lawrence gave the following statement to late Thursday evening.

“It certainly has been an interesting week as a MDUSD Board Member. Many people have heard about the MDUSD Board’s vote regarding the Northgate and Clayton Valley feeder patterns. My colleague Linda Mayo was the only one to vote against last week’s action. She got it right. I got it wrong.

There is a lot of inaccurate information circulating (such as the possibility that 300 additional students will be attending Northgate next year), but one thing is abundantly clear. Large segments of our community felt blindsided by this action. That is an indication that we failed to communicate what was being considered and what was then enacted. That is reason enough for us have held off on approving the boundary change. In retrospect, MDUSD should have done more to share what was happening and I personally could have done a better job of verifying that our community was adequately notified.

Over the weekend, I submitted a request to Board President Cheryl Hansen that an item to rescind the action be placed on our May 9th agenda. President Hansen has placed my item on the agenda for Monday night.

My belief is that we need to allow the community to fully weigh in on this potential change to the feeder pattern. We still need to provide a home high school for Pine Hollow and Diablo View Middle Schools. We also need to understand how we missed on communicating and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

This statement comes just a few hours after a story was posted on, saying the City of Walnut Creek planned to send the MDUSD a “very strong” letter opposing the recent boundary change.

The MDUSD will discuss, and possibly rescind their vote on Monday, May 9, 2016 during their 7 p.m. meeting in the School District Board Room – 1936 Carlotta Dr. in Concord.


Sid May 5, 2016 at 12:12 AM

Money rules. Walnut Creek / Northgate residents have more money than Concord/Clayton residents, therefore their opinions matter more than the opinions of people who live in the CVCHS area.

@#1 May 5, 2016 at 12:35 AM

There’s something to what you said, but the median house price in Clayton and Walnut Creek is pretty close. I think they just think they’re that much more wealthy and important.

livebythelaw May 5, 2016 at 12:48 AM

class war

another resident May 5, 2016 at 5:16 AM

Extremely disappointing. “Better communication” should not mean rescinding the vote. Simply publish the rationale so that people can understand. Change is generally upsetting, but if given time and information, people will get on board.

This is a flagrant example of how money rules these decisions. MDUSD should not cave to the residents of one wealthy town in a large district. The residents of the affected neighborhoods have paid taxes for years with no assigned high school, which has benefited the very people who are upset about this, and do not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.

Concordian mom May 5, 2016 at 6:05 AM

Here we go…..these Northgate people must be putting a ton of pressure and I guess they are heard…I made a mistake…really, no I don’t think so just cannot stand behind what you believe is the right thing to do because you are getting pressured. They better not send our kids to Ygnacio Valley High. In case Northgate people don’t know in that part of Concord or Clayton we pay a lot of money for our houses to. These people need to think about the kids, it’s about them not their precious neighborhood and school. In any case Northgate is a second choice, I want my kids to go to CVHS but we do not deserve to be assigned to a school like YVH which everyone tries to avoid for obvious reasons.

TeacherMan May 5, 2016 at 6:06 AM

Classy board. At least they admitted they were wrong and willing to re-think things, as well as getting the public’s input. As other school districts have done, they could’ve just pushed it through and ignored what the people thought. Thanks Brian.

Just Sayin May 5, 2016 at 6:27 AM

Class war is exactly what it is. If the kids from Crystal Ranch and Dana Hills were the only ones let in I’m sure they would be fine but however Clayton is a very wealthy TOWN with tons of old money and that’s what scares them. Land money and new money are totally different breeds of people. Land money owns horses and stables new money has purse collections and gadgets. Who would want to go to Northgate from over here anyway. We don’t raise those kind of kids. !

cd May 5, 2016 at 6:41 AM

what a disgrace

Russ Sayin May 5, 2016 at 6:50 AM

Its all well and good that this guy truly wants to represent his constituents, and will therefore back track on his earlier decision, but my math tells me its now 3-2 in favor of my kids coming over the hill and ruining your paradise. That’s still a majority, right?

Nutcreek Frontier May 5, 2016 at 6:52 AM

Am impressed by this the Board’s decision to review the vote. For too long, MDUSD has not been responsive to the voice of the people. Nice to see some glimmer of accountability. The Board should get public input, take into account the real issue of over-crowding at Northgate, and reconsider the fairness of prioritizing Concord neighborhoods over WC neighborhoods for Northgate. A step in the right direction.

Eat food May 5, 2016 at 6:57 AM

I love how Clayton residents assume the worst, come on people we are all cogs in the machine. Let’s all just try to give our kids the best education possible.

Mac May 5, 2016 at 7:01 AM

Mr Lawrence thinks one way, then after hearing how many people disagree, he changes his way of thinking ?
Not someone I want voting on issues in the future.
Either he didn`t do his homework before voting on it ?
Or he is too wishy washy to continue voting ?

Either way, it shows a lack of knowledge on his part.

And I disagree, it is cool he admitted it.
If he were doing his job correctly, he would have voted how he felt.
And not be pushed around by others.

Northgate Parent May 5, 2016 at 7:01 AM

This is not about class and it’s not about Walnut Creek not wanting students from Concord or Clayton. It’s about Northgate already being over capacity, the safety of the children who walk through crowded hallways, classes that already don’t have classrooms to use, increasing traffic in an already over congested area, wanting to see that all students in Walnut Creek have a Walnut Creek school designated for them (currently they do not). Let’s focus on insuring Walnut Creek high school students have a spot at a Walnut Creek high school school and the same for Concord and Clayton BEFORE we start driving students to other cities to attend school. This has been a problem for years in Walnut Creek and this should have been addressed long before any other students were allowed to attend Northgate.

MoJo May 5, 2016 at 7:07 AM

What a spineless Wuss! Obviously Mr. Lawrence is friends with one of the Whiner Dogs over in the Northgate neighborhood. Excuse me while I go projectile vomit.

Jason May 5, 2016 at 7:10 AM

Here’s a solution: build a new high school. In Clayton.

Carriage Square May 5, 2016 at 7:20 AM

Do those of you in favor realize that some WC residents are assigned to a failing middle school in Concord and not so favorable high school in Concord? Do any of you believe that students who live in WC should be allowed to go to WC schools first? This is such a crazy system and I’m glad that Brian woke-up. Do those of you in favor realize that a Board Member Iives in the proposed “new boudary”?

@ Northgate Parent May 5, 2016 at 7:21 AM

Very well said! Frustrating that so many have been pulling the racism/classism card, without acknowledging they don’t want to send their kids to YVHS either.

J in WC May 5, 2016 at 7:21 AM

The board should do what is in the best interests of the children. They should avoid getting involved in moving boundaries, assigning schools to real estate parcels, and steer clear of anything that could be construed as putting their thumb on the scale with regards to the Concord Naval Wepons Station.

Northgate is at 160% of its designed capacity. They can put temporary classrooms all over the playing fields but it will not make the hallways any wider.

Decisions to add additional children should be made on a case by case basis and the needs of the individual child and the capacity of the school to meet their needs should be the primary consideration.

Anna May 5, 2016 at 7:23 AM

It’s not class warfare and as a Parent in the current Northgate feeder pattern I can tell you my anger over this decision has nothing to do with the quality/caliber/income level of the kids from The CVCHS feeder pattern. (Let’s be completely frank, the demographics are essentially the same.) What gets me fired up is the disregard the board had to the CURRENT overcrowding at Northgate and their cavalier approach to solving the problem where to put the students from the former CV attendance boundaries.
Also, for the record, lots of people here are making comments that “no one” would send their children to YV. Well, plenty of my friends from the Carriage Square neighborhood do. There are opportunities for motivated kids to stand out and be “big fish” at YV, starring in plays and participating in other programs that they’d be unlikely to make the cut for in an overcrowded school like Northgate.

ale May 5, 2016 at 7:26 AM

People can say whatever they want it’s obvious that the yuppies in Walnut creek just want to keep the riff raff from concord out. Frankly it’s disgusting. Some of those concord neighborhoods are just as close to the school as walnut creek neighborhoods are. I don’t buy the “it’s about traffic” bs.

mamatosix May 5, 2016 at 7:31 AM

It is about MDUSD’s board being incompetent. These are very serious and far reaching decisions they are making. If they are not researching prior to the votes then what are they doing?
And the “want to rescind the vote” leads me to wonder who Mr. Lawrence is beholding to. Either way it is wrong.

Mr. Pink May 5, 2016 at 7:32 AM

There goes my property value. 😉

Future Teacher May 5, 2016 at 7:36 AM

It’s interesting how most of the comments on here are so negative and aggresive towards people of Walnut Creek. Why can’t people just have a sense of community? Say these boundries dont get changed back, you’re only making the issue you perceive that much worse. As a teacher it’s interesting how you parents are so appalled when your kids get in fights at school or act out, but look at where they get it from, all you guys do is fight and bicker. Try to be part of the solution and not prolong the problem.

Oh Please May 5, 2016 at 7:47 AM

The rich folks in Walnut Creek got butt hurt it seems……it’s not like Northgate is even the best school. Get over it scumbags.

@#2 May 5, 2016 at 7:51 AM

Home values are irrelevant. It’s education!Get the chip off you shoulder. Also Median value is skewed due to countless 1 bedrooms in wc. 1 million will get you hopefully 2000sq ft in wc and 4000 in Clayton.
Everyone in Northgate could sell their house and buy a huge house on the golf course in Clayton with money leftover but we chose our children’s education as our priority.

Claytonite May 5, 2016 at 7:52 AM

All you Northgate parents can relax. I wouldn’t send my child to your elitist, overcrowded institution even if it was a choice. Politics aside, Clayton Valley Charter has it over your school any day of the week

Far from being rich Northgate homeowner May 5, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Couldn’t have put it better myself, @#13 Northgate Parent.

john Pope May 5, 2016 at 8:03 AM

Waffler! If one board member voted against the change, maybe SHE got it wrong!

VB May 5, 2016 at 8:20 AM

Walnut Creek folks are rightly concerned about their city getting overcrowded. But the root cause is wrong. Those new apartment complexes at every corner. This is what they should be concerned about, not about Clayton kids.

Northgate Mom May 5, 2016 at 8:21 AM

The negativity towards Walnut Creek on here is disgusting. My only issue (and the only issue I have heard any current Northgate parent say) IS that the school already is overcrowded. I challenge all of you critics to come down to the school and watch the kids switch classes. It’s downright scary. If there was a fire/crisis I am positive things would not go well and the school district would have a huge law suit on their hands. They don’t have enough classrooms. They don’t have enough qualified teachers. My kids have started their school year twice with blanks on their schedule. BLANKS. This is not some sort of made up issue. Please listen and try to understand before you call us all elitist and snobby. I prefer my children attend a diversified school over the opposite any day. What I will not stand for is them to receive a poor education b/c a school board didn’t do their homework around student capacity.

Rocky May 5, 2016 at 8:24 AM

We bought last year, on the golf course and our house is not huge. We pay the same school bond taxes to mdusd as those that live in Walnut creek. Residents of wcreek whose homes don’t feed into northgate, well those values aren’t as high as those that do. We chose our children’s education as our priority too. Just because you’re in wcreek and were able to pay walnut creek home prices doesn’t mean your kids have priority over mines.
Boundaries were set by mdusd and people who buy homes look at those lines. Home values will always correlate to schools attached to those homes. So it is about real estate and education.

ClayDen May 5, 2016 at 8:25 AM

We considered buying a house in Walnut Creek or Clayton and decided we really liked Clayton and do not regret our decision to have bought here. We chose to send our kids to DLS and Carondelet.

Northgate Mom May 5, 2016 at 8:25 AM

For a politician to openly admit he may have made the wrong decision and allow others to weigh in is extremely admirable. Lets face it we all make decisions ever single day that we may or may not be right about. Anyone willing to admit a potential mistake has my respect.

another resident May 5, 2016 at 8:47 AM

The negativity against Walnut Creek is deserved. MSUSD does not belong to Walnut Creek. Although, this development implies that perhaps it does.

If you are concerned about congestion and overcrowding, speak to the city council about all of the condo and apartment buildings being built downtown that will do nothing but add to these issues. Don’t penalize established, tax-paying citizens who have paid into the system for years without receiving what so many take for granted.

Perhaps MSUSD should require adult kindergarten for members of the Walnut Creek city council. They clearly missed the day that “sharing” was covered.

CSmart May 5, 2016 at 8:50 AM

Does Northgate get more funding do to property taxes, items they have voted on or “donations” given vs. other MD schools?

WCMDUSD May 5, 2016 at 8:52 AM

Class war? Wow, a bit dramatic. How about the fact that kids in Walnut Creek, that are in the MDUSD, may want to go to a school less than a couple miles away from their house and want to have a transfer as an OPTION. If people from further distances are automatically allowed in – our hope significantly declines. We live in WC, so why shouldn’t we have an automatic feeder into a WC school and Concord residents feed into a Concord school like YV? Old money vs New Money – horses vs. purses, come on, a little bitter or angry? How about we all just want a good education for our kids?

Walnut Creek homeowner May 5, 2016 at 8:54 AM

Walnut Creek is just a better place to live, nicer people-good enough for a huge Tiffany store & the one place in the Bay Area where Steph Curry decided to live!
Any comments?

bubbles May 5, 2016 at 8:56 AM

We move to WC NG area for a reason, to be in great schools, great neighborhoods and dare I mention other reasons as well?
Yea you got this wrong MDUSD board, in fact you are morons.

Rollo Tomasi May 5, 2016 at 9:05 AM

@ #26:

“Everyone in Northgate could sell their house and buy a huge house on the golf course in Clayton with money leftover but we chose our children’s education as our priority.”

If that were true you could have spent half as much in Concord and sent your kids to DLS/Carondelet.

Northgate Mom May 5, 2016 at 9:11 AM

The condos being built downtown are not overcrowding Northgate period. They all feed into Los Lomas.

Also Northgate takes in transfer students from all over…Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Pittsburgh, Concord and WC residents who aren’t in the NG feeder area. The beauty of this is the decisions can be made annually based upon the current level of incoming students. Room for 100 they take 100. Room for only 3, take 3. No room, sorry no transfers this year. With this new change that variable will be gone. It will just be 200 people coming over this year whether you like it or not. Sorry. Just shove them in….This clearly hasn’t been thought through.

Anon May 5, 2016 at 9:14 AM

WHAT A BUNCH OF BS!! $$$$$$$$ and power RULES the world.

If only ONE person voted against this (Linda Mayo), why does it need to be rescinded? What about the other members that voted Yes? Do they believe they had it wrong too? I want to hear from the entire Board why they think they need to take another vote.

Solution: Build more schools and less prisons.

Weak May 5, 2016 at 9:31 AM

1) No kids in the MDUSD boundaries should be without an assigned school. It should have been done BEFORE the charter opened.

2) If you go by the MDUSD board video there was no thought given to the decision other than the district recognizing that they have failed the Clayton area kids by not giving them a place to go, which is true. Making a decision on the spot though was is the problem because the numbers were never looked at.

3) There were no considerations for geography, traffic, demographics, capacity, safety, for ANY schools. One option was given and to be clear you could have said any other school name and it would have happened the same. Parents were choosing Northgate and so that’s what the decision was based on.

Fact is the outcome could be the same. The fact people here are arguing about it shows how little was done to develop this plan. The decision should be paused, not overturned, not approved. Get the adequate research in to support the numbers and safety concerns and go from there.

Residents should not be doing this US vs THEM. It goes back to MDUSD not doing their due diligence when they realized they have lost a High School and in turn punishing the families by not giving them a home. Those residents are nothing but pawns in this. Stop blaming Northgate residents for MDUSD not doing something official years ago. The only reason they care about you now is because of the increase of students leaving the charter.

Anon May 5, 2016 at 9:38 AM

Sad that the abysmal quality of YVHS is pitting Walnut Creek against Concord. Everyone wants their child to attend a highly ranked high school. However, using expressions such as “butt-hurt” and “Walnut Creek just is racist/classist” etc. do not really raise the discourse level, or show any understanding of the issues involved with adding 300 children to an over-crowded high school.

40 "clap, clap, clap" May 5, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Sooooo glad my 2nd kid is graduating and my 3rd starts at DLS.

But while I’m at it….hey YV road commuters, STOP cutting through the Crossings!

WestCoastAvenger May 5, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Brian Lawrence AKA flip-flop-apotamus. He must have put a lot of thought and conviction into his vote… OR NOT! Grow a pair and look up the word “integrity” in the dictionary. I feel deep concern that people like this are in control of the future of education in our community. Deep concern, but not surprised sadly.

@rollo May 5, 2016 at 9:54 AM

We could have done that too. Why would we do either? We could have moved to Pittsburgh, Antioch, Martinez and many other less expensive places but we moved to Northgate for the schools that go with it. Clayton is closer to YV and they have room. Get on MDUSD to pour more money in to there. No way. Your home values would go down if that was the designated school. Nor does the cultural demographic resemble claytons. Sell your clayton homes and buy a smaller home / townhouse in WC if you want better schools. Can’t have it all. Is Pittsburgh part of MDUSD? Fight for that. Its just as close and cross commute. Not a chance. Sacrifice folks.
Rocky, must be nice living on the golf course.

Northgate Mom May 5, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Thank you @weak! Spot on.

Clayton Parent May 5, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Those of us who disagree with the vote being rescinded and the disgusting comments of the Walnut Creek Mayor need to show up in droves at the May 9th meeting and protest loudly. Even if you don’t have a child but support equality should show up. I will be there and they will hear from me loudly.

Brenda May 5, 2016 at 10:17 AM

Wow! So much animosity.
I have heard many are very happy with the charter school. I know many are not happy with Northgate. So, I am not so sure there will be a big demand of kids asking for Northgate that are not already asking. The reality is we have a poorly run, over sized school district. Is that why Clayton Valley started a charter school? Maybe Northgate should consider the same.
Possibly, you should all put your hate and anger aside and look at the bigger picture of our school district. I actually think that is where the frustration originates, and putting energy there might actually improve things.

Northgate Mom May 5, 2016 at 10:20 AM

it’s coming very clear to me via these comments that people who I assume live in Clayton commenting want it all. They want to have the option of “supposedly” perfect CV to attend with the back pocket safety of Northgate as their home school. Of course its the perfect scenario. I’d want it to if I lived in Clayton without a doubt. But I don’t. My kids are currently and will be in Northgate and Im going to fight to keep their high school from getting even more overcrowded than it already is.

If the MDUSD wants to invest more $ into remodeling the main building so is there more capacity and hire more teachers, I am ALL for it 100%. Something tells me that won’t happen though, just a big band aid of trailers in the parking lot like they’ve been doing.

Re. the comment about the garbage at northgate thats no joke either. I was horrified that kids are allowed and willingly toss their trash on the ground. If this an issue independent to Northgate and not just self centered teenager, shame on this Broncos!

MDUSD parent May 5, 2016 at 10:25 AM

So the Northgate parents who want to question a school board decision to open up boundaries to two more middle schools when the current high school is already well overcapacity with some classes being held in their cafeteria are suddenly classified as a bunch of elitist snobs? They don’t have the right to question how the school board plans to address issues with class-size, classroom space, teachers/faculty needs and any safety issues. The nerve of these parents to want to ensure at their neighborhood school can function day to day. Certainly sounds like a group of elitist/entitled parents to me.

Falcon May 5, 2016 at 10:25 AM

@ Weak and Anon – I agree with you.

We should step back and look at that estimate of 300 new students being added to Northgate. Claycord used that figure in their original article but I think it’s a gross exaggeration. It implies that there are 300 rising 9th graders from Pine Hollow and Diablo View Middle Schools who have not previously been accounted for. This is misleading because the High School Option Form for those students to choose their next school was due in January and decisions were issued. Therefore, MDUSD must have an estimate of how many students are requesting each school and, conversely, how many are leaving the district.

One consequence of this decision that hasn’t been raised yet is how it re-prioritizes students requesting transfers. For example, a student in the old CV attendance area who submits the Option Form on time is in the highest priority group for their first choice of high school, per the district’s published guidelines. With this change, however, if that student wants to attend College Park, for example, that student is no longer in the top priority group.

Also, if there is an influx of new students from the charter or a private school, do they displace other kids on transfer from other district high schools or other districts? Will MDUSD honor the option and transfer decisions they have already issued? I may go to the Board meeting to ask.

@Clayton Parent? May 5, 2016 at 10:28 AM

What did the Walnut Creek Mayor say that was disgusting?

@Brenda May 5, 2016 at 10:28 AM

you are absolutely right. Thank you!

VB May 5, 2016 at 10:47 AM


“…Walnut Creek is just a better place to live, nicer people-good enough for a huge Tiffany store & the one place in the Bay Area where Steph Curry decided to live!”

I lived in Walnut Creek and now live in Clayton. No, Walnut Creek is not better place to live.

Northgate Dad May 5, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Is this genuine by Mr. Lawrence? I have a feeling that the immediate flip flop happens to be a form of self-preservation prior to pushing forward with his 2016 re-election ambitions.

Yay!! May 5, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Since when do Clayton/Concord students take a back seat to Walnut Creek students? Since CV became an off-the-rails charter. This should’ve been done the same day the County granted CV their charter status.

If you don’t like the traffic, blame the East County people who cut through Kirker Pass. This isn’t going to get better unless they set up a toll road.

J in WC May 5, 2016 at 11:10 AM

I see lots of references in these comments to “300 additional children”, or “making official what is already in place”. That is not what this decision did.

It tripled the number of feeder middle schools to Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. The two new middle schools are both from another city. It added thousands of Concord real estate parcels to the Northgate High feeder pattern.

Parents who purchased a home in Walnut Creek and who have children destined for Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek now have the very real possibility that they will not be able to have their child from Walnut Acres, Valle Verde and Bancroft Elementary Schools attend Northgate High School because it is full of children from Silverwood and other Elementary Schools in Concord because the boundaries were modified AFTER people purchased homes.

This need to be reversed and reversed quickly!

Mac May 5, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Walnut creek people friendly….Now that is a joke

Weak May 5, 2016 at 11:31 AM

From all the details made public. The 300 numbers are based on known middle school numbers. The other number is 100, the number of kids from that 300 that will be attending Northgate and not the charter, and those numbers are rising. It does not factor in families unhappy with their current school (be it the charter or any other).

The difference with the quick decision is the automatic home school status.

Someone up the thread or one of the other threads mentioned buses. There will be no bus service for any child. As far as I know only special ed children have access to MDUSD buses and that is due to no choice on where their school is to meet their needs.

Concord High School seems to be the easiest school to get to and avoid traffic problems. Northgate is jammed in suburbia. Ygnacio Valley has two other high schools of madhouse teenage traffic, but it’s only a problem if the kids are driving. A solution for all schools is needed for dropping kids off, they just choose to ignore it. Northgate needs better infrastructure and that includes the access points to get cars in and out.

Concord High is miles closer than any other high school. The only benefit to YVHS or NGHS is if it’s along the way for parents to drop kids off. It’s less than 4 miles for Pine Hollow. 20 minutes on a bike, or catch the 10 bus and walk a mile. That will still be faster than the backstreet nightmare Northgate has.

Walnut Creek homeowner May 5, 2016 at 11:41 AM


Of course you did…

@still happy May 5, 2016 at 11:44 AM

Las Lomas, which is in the Acalanes School District, is facing a very similar issue:

leaf May 5, 2016 at 11:48 AM

I do not understand what some Clayton people are saying here. They are complaining that they do not have a home school. Their home school is CVCHS !! Especially because their charter conversion was done by the community. They were not forced to do so. Just like some people in NG area send their kids to private schools because they do not like NG, they should send their kids to private schools like ClayDen(#33) if they do not like CVCHS.
Also, the kids have been always allowed to submit a request form if they do not want to go to CVCHS. Isn’t that enough ?
Why they should be allowed to have two home schools ? The kids who live in former CV area still have priorities to get into CVCHS, and then now they will be allowed to have an option to go to NG ?
MDUSD says about one hundres out of 309 want to go to NG, that means 1/3 of parents are unhappy with CVCHS.
I have heard parents talking good about CVCHS on Claycord(sometimes even saying we are better than NG kind of talk.), but the reality is 1/3 do not like the school after all ?
The school is so much better than before just about at every level, they still are not happy and want to overcrowd NG.
I still have not heard too many Clayton parents saying they do not want to be assigned to NG here.(excluding the ones who send their kids to private schools.).
I hope the district just stick to the policy they have had since the charter school opened. They kids can submit a request to any public high school in the district if there is space available. Period.

Future Teacher May 5, 2016 at 11:54 AM

The people from Concord or Clayton on here that are attacking Walnut Creek are truly showing their own stripes. I’d like to know how many of you actually have had experiences with people from Walnut Creek, and not an out of town person in downtown or hear-say.

I live in Concord, went to Highlands and then Foothill and Northgate. All of my family friends and classmates lived in Concord or Clayton up until middle school. I have worked in Walnut Creek directly with parents of students and now teach in Concord. I would just like to say that Concord, Clayton and Walnut Creek have a ton of amazing people. They all also have people who are distasteful. Blanketing a community based off one person or experience is ignorant.

Coggins Square May 5, 2016 at 12:06 PM

Stephan Curry does not live anywhere near Northgate. He actually lives in a small enclave of WC down by the Alamo border.

Falcon May 5, 2016 at 12:08 PM

@ J in WC – Valle Verde and Walnut Acres already feed into Northgate so there is no change for those students.

leaf May 5, 2016 at 12:20 PM

@67 Well said.
I hate Clayton people calling WC people racist. I give you a fact here. NG has 61% White, 17% Asian, 16% Hispanic. I hope they get it.

Somehow people who live in Concord and Clayton think WC people are white elitists. NG has a lot less white students than Diablo View Middle School despite the fact Diable View needs to accept children from under performing schools. They keep complaining about those kids from the their school. Somehow it is okay ? What you do or say will come back to you eventually.

steph curryWC May 5, 2016 at 12:39 PM

He lives in WC regardless. Too many confederate flags in Clayton for him no doubt. Plus he’d have to leave from Clayton at 6am to get to his 2pm game. Maybe if he plays for the kings he’ll move out there. Never mind. Still the flag issue.

Ef May 5, 2016 at 12:59 PM

You can make that 299 kids…. I am not interested in sending my son to Northgate. We are educated people with money living in Concord (gasp) and I’d rather my kids go to school in a more diverse environment, experience more of the real world and get a balanced education. Northgate is currently approximately 68% white, 8% low-income and 7% with special needs. That is not the real world. Over-crowded ultra competitive schools do not make for better citizens. Your kids will be successful if they are happy well-rounded individuals who are encouraged to explore their interests both in and out of school, not because they went to a fancy high school. We’re ok if he lands at DVC, too. As long as he’s happy and responsible in his adult life.

Be Real May 5, 2016 at 1:03 PM

Stupid move by Brian Lawrence. Now he’s angered every homeowner in the CVCHS area who thought their house had instantly increased in value due to being in the Northgate HS attendance area. If YVHS becomes their home school, they’ll see an instant lose in value.

It comes down to dollars and cents. MDUSD will lose students/$$$ if they make YVHS or Concord HS the home school for the CVCHS area. CVCHS families bailing out of CVCHS want their kids to go to Northgate because it is a better school than CVCHS. Let’s not be coy. We all know what “better” means. It means families from a higher socio-economic level than the families at CVCHS or YVHS or Concord HS. If you tell CVCHS families their only other option is YVHS, they’ll either settle for CVCHS or send their kids to DLS/Carondelet or Berean. CVCHS is drawing students away from less affluent MDUSD schools, as well as drawing families that put a big emphasis on sports. Let MDUSD draw away from CVCHS the families that place a bigger emphasis on education and having their students associate with a more affluent, college-oriented crowd by letting them go to Northgate. It makes economic sense for MDUSD.

Realistically, most families will stick with CVCHS because it’s the easiest option and they want their kids to go to high school with the friends they grew up with. But for families more concerned with a better education or making sure their children associate with college-bound friends or those aware of the sorry saga of poor management at CVCHS or those entering high school from private schools, Northgate is a tempting option. It’s most likely to be the best-educated and most affluent CVCHS families that will make the move to Northgate. They’ll be a plus for Northgate.

MDUSD already knows how many CVCHS-area students will going to Northgate next year because they have already filled out the paperwork. Obviously it is far less than the 300 maximum possible students. It appears most of the CVCHS-area students who wanted to go to Northgate have been admitted there in the past. Yes, the number is going up as the glow of converting to a charter wears off and the disappointing reality of CVCHS sinks in, but it’s still a relatively low number. So relax, Northgate parents. This change in policy will have very little impact on your children.

Walnut Creek homeowner May 5, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I said Curty lives in Walnut Creek
I did mot say he lived in Northgate…
All the disgusting attacks on here are aimed at Walnut Creek in general not Northgate
Remarks about kids and parents etc-
It would appear quite clearly that you attack Walnut Creek because you have a huge chip on your collective shoulders

Walnut Creek homeowner May 5, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Curry not Curty

Meemo May 5, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Someone must be getting pressure from those with money.

@#65 May 5, 2016 at 2:25 PM

Thanks for the link, I remember reading something a few months ago, I think from the city, talking about how many new homes/apartments were being built in downtown Walnut Creek and how “little of an impact” it would make on the schools. It sounded so ridiculous and now this just proves it. If schools are already having overcrowding issues why keep builting more homes/apartments, how about the city stops being greedy and starts focusing on issues were currently having; when you fix a road fix it properly don’t leave it worse than before, how is an express toll lane supposed to help traffic when no new lanes are being added.
About the NG issue, I understand why homeowners in the area are worried about the traffic and student increase, I used to attend NG and came from Concord and traffic was insane. Also back when I used to attend there was already an issue with classes being full and “makeshift” classrooms, half of the school being hot and the other half freezing, NG was not all that. Some improvements to the school wouldn’t hurt and might be about time.

Be Real May 5, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Mr. Mayor, As noted by Brian Lawrence, there seems to be a great deal of confusion over the number of CVCHS student we’re talking about. Could you contact MDUSD and get some clarification? How many incoming freshman from the CVCHS area will be attending Northgate High School at the start of the 2016/2017 school year? How many CVCHS area students altogether (grades 9-12) will be attending Northgate High School in the 2016/2017 school year? How do these numbers compare to this school year (2015/2016) and the previous school year? If every DVMS/PHMS student decided to attend Northgate High School instead of CVCHS, how many students would we be talking about? How many CVCHS area students decided to attend MDUSD high schools other than Northgate High School? How many CVCHS area students were denied admittance to Northgate High School due to space considerations?

Weak May 5, 2016 at 2:54 PM

Never hear anything about that Arts school. Isn’t that opening? Thought that would be a popular option. In 3 years it will be, if you have brains go to Northgate (unless that new program at YVHS produces great results), brawn go to CVCHS and creativity go to the Art School.

Not just one year May 5, 2016 at 3:10 PM

If there are 309 8th graders eligible to transfer from new feeders next year then what is that over four years? Its not one class. When those 309 are sophomores there is a class behind them and so on for 4 years. That’s potentially 1236 more kids crammed in there at once. Its obvious not all would select ngate but even a portion is way too much. What is the fire Marshalls opinion?

MV May 5, 2016 at 3:12 PM

@ #74: Well said!

Sherry Whitmarsh May 5, 2016 at 4:32 PM

As a past YVHS parent and a huge YVHS supporter, I’m extremely tired of the YVHS bashing that exists. Students get out of a school what they put into it. Both my daughter’s were accepted into all but one university they applied to. My oldest will be graduating from Baylor University this year and her friends are graduating from many great schools like Cal, Stanford, UCLA, etc. My youngest daughter was accepted into a program at University of the Pacific that only took 15 students. The Health Academy was named a California Distinguished Academy. The performing arts department is growing but I’ll chalk that one up to the elimination of elementary music several years ago. There are several great athletic programs too, including the NCS Championship for Boys Soccer.

For those of you who haven’t been on campus, you should go. I chose to make informed decisions about where to send my children based upon the education of the whole child and not only on one factor such as test scores. The success of my children proves that I made the right choice.

@Anna —-shame on you for saying that the students at YVHS can’t compete with students at other schools. That’s ridiculous.

wow May 5, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Wow, the MDUSD certainly succeeded at dividing a community here! I grew up in Danville, lived in Walnut Creek, and am now raising my children in Clayton. I can tell you all three communities have the same positives and negatives. I think the school board should have done their homework before making this decision. Hopefully, this will all be sorted out in 12 years when my kids start high school.

Sherry Whitmarsh May 5, 2016 at 4:34 PM

By the way, I should have added that both my children received merit based scholarships at their universities. We intentionally bought our home where it was so that our children would not have the entitlement attitude that many on this thread seem to have.

Annonmom May 5, 2016 at 4:57 PM

Disgraceful, no other words.

Meh... May 5, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Sounds like this is a big deal over nothing. It has long been the de facto policy to let families who don’t want to go to CVCHS choose what MDUSD high school they want their children to attend. Almost all choose Northgate. All MDUSD has done is formalize the existing reality and add more certainty for CVCHS families: If you don’t want to go to CVCHS, you can go to Northgate. It doesn’t mean more students at Northgate.

J in WC May 5, 2016 at 5:19 PM

This is not nothing. This is a very big deal. It adds the Concord Naval Wepons Station land to Northgate HS.

A Dose of Reality May 5, 2016 at 5:20 PM

“Meh” is spot on much ado about nothing.

This simple subject is incomprehensible to so many people. It really reflects poorly upon their intellect.

That includes the Snakeholders for Transparency anti-CVCHS twits who tried to spin this in a most simplistic and duplicitous way.

J in WC May 5, 2016 at 6:10 PM

One of the new “Northgate Feeder” schools, Ayers Elementary, is only 600 feet from the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

The plans for the Concord Naval Weapons Station do not include a new high school.

Mika May 5, 2016 at 7:20 PM

Why doesn’t MDUSD do something about YVHS so its more attractive to incoming students?

Snerk May 5, 2016 at 8:12 PM

Maybe we need to write a strong letter to the School Board too? Something like, “Every time you kill an opportunity for a child, you get closer to a criminal.”

Chipotle #1 May 5, 2016 at 8:35 PM

All this crying over public school….. U shallow people get a life and fork out the $ to go to De La Salle.

J in WC May 5, 2016 at 8:46 PM

It’s pretty obvious that in three years there will be many, many children from Foothill Middle School who will be denied access to their Neighborhood High School (Northgate) just so that the community that voted in the charter school can have two options, Clayton Valley Charter AND Northgate. Both schools to be considered as their “home school”.

Meanwhile, the children of Walnut Creek will be locked out of Northgate due to overcrowding and will be sent to Ygnacio Valley High over in Concord.

All done with no advance warning and no community input.

Winston May 5, 2016 at 10:49 PM

Maybe we need all school assignments in MDUSD to be handed out by lottery.

Make America Great again May 5, 2016 at 11:58 PM

@Be Real, there’s a reason why we don’t want your type of people going to northgate. You minorities come in here and lower our test scores and knock up our innocent walnut creek daughters. I can’t wake until trump’s elected and send you, Carlos, and Juan packing.

J in WC May 6, 2016 at 6:39 AM

If we switch to a “fair” lottery system we also need to raise taxes on the owners of less expensive homes, by a substantial amount, to compensate those who, over the decades, overpaid for their homes thinking the schools were tied to real estate parcels.

I figure about 25K per year for the next 20 years from every Concord home to each impacted Walnut Creek home would be the amout needed to make the lottery “fair”.

WC momma May 6, 2016 at 7:11 AM

Can MDUSD do something about making YV a better school??? So not everyone wants to transfer?

Anon May 6, 2016 at 8:57 AM

To MDUSD Board, don’t be surprised if there is legal action from WC neighborhoods currently assigned to YVHS, if the re-districting stands. Neighborhoods have been galvanized! We are tired of paying private school tuitions, and huge property taxes for SBX5-4 schools (CA list of under-performing schools).

Also, it may interest people, and MDUSD does not want you to know this, if you are assigned to an SBX5-4 school, you child must be admitted to ANY public school that has room. That includes Campo and Miramonte, if you are willing to drive. MDUSD cannot prevent you from leaving the district. This is the law, and has been confirmed by Superintendent Tom Torkelsen himself.

Vitaly Barinov May 6, 2016 at 9:26 AM


You are saying Walnut Creek is better place to live.
Median household income in Walnut Creek is 50% lower than that in Clayton.
I’m not talking Northgate but a snobby Walnut Creek as a whole.
And people in Clayton are about 50% nicer 🙂

median income May 6, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Who cares!? Wc household income show less because many are 1bedroom condos with a single person. Clayton is 95% single family homes with multiple income earners. SF’s is probably lower too for same reason. Get the chip off your shoulders. So lame.

kate May 6, 2016 at 10:15 AM

All the N.G. kids are on a C.V.C.H.S. wait list. Kate

Reynolds May 6, 2016 at 10:48 AM

“All the N.G. kids are on a C.V.C.H.S. wait list.”

Ha! In your D.R.E.A.M.S.

@Vitaly May 6, 2016 at 11:13 AM

LOL clayton, there’s a reason we don’t want you folks in our Wc schools

Northgate Parent May 6, 2016 at 12:15 PM

Can everyone please be positive and be nice to eachother? It’s time to unite as neighboring communities and put this wonderful passion and energy we have in to creating the change necessary with the MDUSD that will benefit all of us! 🙂

Cat May 6, 2016 at 12:42 PM

@Mac # 12


Either he didn’t do his homework, or he blows with public opinion.

Neither is admirable.

(This is exactly what you will get if you vote for Mae Torkalson for state assembly, btw. And no, I’m not voting for Grayson).

Gen. Shutyoumouth May 6, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Its fun watching people trying to math that matters…
“People in Clayton make 50% more than …x% this x% that.’

The fact is Northgate HS is 100% better than any option in the MD school district that that’s why everyone is upset.

The common enemy here is the mismanaged MDUSD.
Its time to stop fighting over who is better and who is snobby and stop feeling like you are victim. We should focus our attentions on ripping the school district apart and putting people in place that will get the damn thing fixed.

PatB May 6, 2016 at 4:43 PM

The following is an excerpt from Clayton Valley High School’s website:

“Q. Who can attend CVCHS?
A. Any students living in the original CVCHS attendance area and siblings of current students are given a preference in the enrollment process over out- of- attendance- area students. Assuming space availability, other out-of-area- students are invited to apply and will be offered a spot based on a lottery system.”

This seems like a very fair, simple and logical policy. Why shouldn’t the MDSD apply this same logic to the current situation?

For the families living in the CVHS “attendance area” to have TWO designated high schools seems very unfair, ESPECIALLY considering the “space availability” issues at Northgate. The CVHS attendance area community fought for their right to have a charter school (good for them) but I feel they should honor and accept the charter school as their home school.

I realize that this situation sucks for every parent in the MDSD wanting a public school education for their child, caused by years of Board mismanagement (which resulted in CVHS leaving the district in the first place). However, I think a fair solution to this screwed up situation would be to keep a policy where (1) CVHS is the assumptive school for CVHS attendance area kids and (2) the kids that don’t want to attend CVHS can request a transfer to any MDSD high school and be guaranteed admission to at least one MDSD high school based on capacity and other relevant factors, on a case-by-case basis.

Anna May 7, 2016 at 8:33 AM

@Sherry Whitmarsh I think you misread what I wrote. I didn’t imply that YV students couldn’t compete against students at other schools. What I meant is that any motivated student can do better in a less crowded environment where there is less internal competition for the fixed number of spots on a Varsity team/leadership positions/lead roles in the play and so on. YV has a new International Baccalaureate program, the school leadership decided to use their Measure C funds to build a new STEM wing (Northgate leadership decided to put that money towards what? Oh right, a swimming pool. They had to raise a lot more money from the community to fund the construction of the pool but there was an existing overcrowding issue at NG when they decided their top priority was a pool!?!) What I meant to say is that it seems like the negative perception of YV is unwarranted. There are lots of good opportunities there for kids to excel. I WOULD send my kids there if NG doesn’t do something about its overcrowding.

Anon May 7, 2016 at 9:17 AM

Nothing against YVHS, am sure there are some great, motivated students there. On average though…it is on the California list of under-performing schools which is why the district has to allow transfer requests from it.

AJ May 9, 2016 at 2:25 PM

Anybody else feeling discriminated against because of their zip?? Where you at 94517 and 94521??

Stompergirl May 9, 2016 at 2:45 PM

Kids outside of the feeder pattern for CVCHS are denied admission because of the priority given to Pine Hollow and DVMS. Not all of the parents outside of WC want to drive the distance and traffic to get to NHS, and the kids don’t want to leave their friends behind. The current option is to apply for admission to other MDUSD high schools and hope for the best if they do not want to attend CVCHS. Four years after the charter began, and we still have political issues! I think NHS will be proud of at least one student from Clayton because we are his proud parents.

Walnut Creek is better May 9, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Trust me WC is better that Clayton. You have any idea how long it takes u to get to the freeway from Clayton? That alone makes Clayton a terrible place to live. And your so called downtown where the best place is Subway Sandwiches LOL

Dulcinea May 9, 2016 at 2:53 PM

MoJo 14. Well…., he is very tight with Craig Cheslog, who is very tight with Tom Torlakson, who is apparently tight with everyone in Contra Costa County who doesn’t pay attention.

That’s how it works.

Gen. Shutyoumouth May 9, 2016 at 3:15 PM

It must really upset people in Clayton and Concord to really and truly know their high schools are steaming piles of crap and to try so desperately to send their kids to the school with all those snobs.

Maybe if the parents in those communities placed the same value on education as we do in WC, you wouldn’t have this problem.

Then again, blaming us snobs is so much easier than actually doing something…which is why your high schools are steaming piles of crap.

Maria May 9, 2016 at 3:25 PM

Northgate should have been added to the Walnut Creek / Acalanes School district years ago.

@#26 May 9, 2016 at 3:38 PM

I guess if you cared about your child’s education that much you would have moved to a part of Walnut Creek that wasn’t in the MDUSD.

Lucky Dog May 9, 2016 at 3:45 PM

I’ve looked at property in WC but after my neck surgery I was unable to get my nose in the air that high

leaf May 9, 2016 at 4:19 PM

@123 Cleo

I do not think people in WC are only upset that NG will be even more crowded, they are especially upset about some kids who attend Foothill will be still assigned to YV after this possible change.

I know they bought their houses knowing it, but if the district is changing the boundary, those students I mentioned above should be considered as well.

This is just my personal opinion, I think the district should assign Pine Hollow to Concord High, and should assign Diablo View to Northgate, so two high schools will share the extra students who do not want to go to CVCHS to avoid overcrowding NG.

I think this is a good match based on their test scores and student bodies since no one seem to like YV here.

Stan Helton May 9, 2016 at 5:46 PM

Did you know that Ygnacio Valley is on the Open Enrollment Act list? If your kids get sent there, or MDUSD deny their transfer to NHS next year, your student can go to any higher-performing school in CA. MIramonte HS and Campolindo are both under enrolled and will take you. Also, Oak GroveMS, El Dorado MS, Riverview MS, Sun Terrace Elem., and Fair Oaks Elem on on the list as well. MDUSD is acting illegally when they say all SBX5-4 transfers will be treated as school choice.

Rocky May 9, 2016 at 6:45 PM

#122. As a new Clayton resident, we are not upset at all. Paid half of what a house costs near northgate and we just enrolled our son for this fall. No matter what the district decides tonight he will be a student there. As the counselor at our meeting said: “we have just as much right as any walnut creek resident to enroll our kids there.” Last I check, we are paying mdusd tax bonds from 2002 and 2010 and we weren’t even in the district at those times. I’ll make sure to have a “we love Clayton” bumper sticker on my car when I drop our son off to school this fall.

Regular Guy May 9, 2016 at 7:26 PM

This is probably a tempest in a teapot. With CVCHS taking most of the students, any impact on Northgate will be minimal. I agree that MDUSD is going down the tubes, but I would encourage those at underperforming schools to wrest education away from the government and create a privately-run charter school. Although there have been birthing pains, CVCHS is doing much better than the government run former school. Government puts the interests of their employees over the people they are supposed to serve (the transition from public to private sector employees was the biggest challenge for CVCHS.)

@#106 &118 May 9, 2016 at 7:56 PM

So, I guess Clayton should just cover every last square inch with condos and retail then? Then you’ll like us? I grew up in Walnut Creek and had always thought about moving back when I could afford it. When I got older and could, I found it was no longer a place I’d want to live. We looked in the Northgate area, and it was in our price range, but decided against it. After the attitudes I’ve seen on here, I’m really glad we didn’t buy in WC. Clayton has a more down-to-earth, small town feel that reminds me of the way Walnut Creek used to be. I picture the Northgate crowd meeting right now at the neighborhood Applebee’s, plotting to keep the Clayton horde out of their precious school. You’ll be happy to know I won’t be sending my kid there.

Truth May 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM

No, Miramonte and Campolindo will just take YV students, and they don’t have too. All decisions are made on a case by case basis. Acalanes has their own overcrowding issues.

Frito Bandito May 9, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Green Ghost at YVHS?

Sarge May 9, 2016 at 9:16 PM

The Northgate CAPS want out of the district and if they don’t get their way, you can bet they will rally their supporters to get out.

Walnut Creek homeowner May 9, 2016 at 10:52 PM

Boundary decision RESCINDED tonight

There Goes the Neighborhood May 9, 2016 at 11:06 PM

Northgate to CV – TS;we don’t want you people

J in WC May 10, 2016 at 12:31 AM

I think it was proper to reverse the boundary change. The board should not be moving boundaries. Families make major financial decisions based on real estate purposes and, like it or not, fair or not, the reality is district boundaries are a major consideration in the value of residential real estate. Changing boundaries is simply shifting wealth from one group of owners to another.

Also, in Concord many of the owners who would have benefited own apartment buildings. They would eventually raise the rent and the kids who are in Northgate as a transfer today might end up in Pittsburg after their apartment complex became a “Northgate” property.

The Clayton/Concord community decided to go with a charter school. They should not be given two home schools, one charter, one under the control of the MDUSD.

Meanwhile, children can and do move between schools and that will continue.

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